The battle is still raging at the top of the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Munich (DE) - The stage is set for a spectacular conclusion to the DTM season: While Marco Wittmann (DE) and BMW Team RMG have already been crowned champions in the Drivers’ and Team competitions, one title is still up for grabs in the final race of the year at the Hockenheimring (DE) on 19th October.
The battle is still raging at the top of the Manufacturers’ Championship with just 42 laps of the 2014 season remaining. BMW tops the standings with 362 points going into the tenth and final round of the DTM – a lead of 21 points over Audi. Therefore, BMW Motorsport’s goal is to finish with as many cars as possible in the top ten, in order to win the Manufacturers’ Championship for the third year in a row since returning to the DTM in 2012.
I can really enjoy it, as the pressure in the Drivers’ Championship is off.
Back at the start of the 2014 season, Hockenheim once again proved to be a happy stomping ground for BMW. After three BMW M4 DTMs had made it onto the first two rows of the grid in qualifying, Wittmann was able to celebrate his first win in the DTM on the Sunday. This triumph also marked BMW’s 60th success in the DTM and the first for the new BMW M4 DTM.
In total, BMW Motorsport has won four of the last five DTM races at the iconic circuit in Hockenheim – and the last two season finales. In 2012, Bruno Spengler (CA) was first across the finish line in the BMW Bank M3 DTM, winning the first DTM title of his career in the process. The following year, both Timo Glock (DE) and BMW Team MTEK claimed their maiden DTM victory at the 4.574-kilometre track.
Prior to their success, the drivers had made history in qualifying: for the first time since the comeback, BMW drivers occupied the first four places on the grid. Pole position went to Spengler, followed by Dirk Werner (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB) and Glock.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “The 2014 DTM season is now entering the finishing straight. We are very much looking forward to the grand finale in Hockenheim. There is traditionally an awesome atmosphere at the final round of the season. It is obviously nice to head to the final race weekend of the year with several titles already to our name. However, we still have one major goal to achieve: we want to defend our top spot in the Manufacturers’ Championship.
That would be the icing on the cake in what has already been a successful debut season for the BMW M4 DTM. We will need a strong team performance to achieve this goal. Our record of four wins in the last four races in Hockenheim is good.
However, I am also certain that the opposition will once again make life difficult for us in the final race. After all, everybody obviously wants to head into the winter break on the back of a good result. The race at the Hockenheimring certainly promises to be a cracker for the fans.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “It has been an incredibly intense year for us. Having been in contention in both the Drivers’ and Team Championships right down to the wire in 2013, this season has not worked out as we had hoped. That shows once again just how fiercely competitive the DTM is. The highlight of our season was definitely Augusto Farfus’ second place at the race in Spielberg. We all share just one goal in Hockenheim: to win the Manufacturers’ title with BMW. And we are determined to do our bit.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Hockenheim is the DTM classic par excellence, and on most occasions a happy stomping ground for our team. At the finale in 2013, we finished first and second in qualifying for the first time since returning to the DTM. Bruno Spengler’s victory to win the title in the final race of 2012 is obviously a stand-out moment. I think the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the season. Martin Tomczyk’s podium in Zandvoort gave us an additional boost. Now we are determined to end the DTM year with a good result to enter the winter break with some fresh self-confidence and to support BMW on its quest to defend the Manufacturers’ title.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “We come to the end of BMW Team MTEK’s second season. Every BMW fan, every BMW Motorsport employee and every team member of all four BMW DTM teams can be proud of what has been achieved with the new BMW M4 DTM. From a BMW Team MTEK point of view we have not been able to achieve our own goals fully, due to a variety of circumstances.
But I am very proud of my team of mechanics, engineers and drivers who have approached each event with the same highly professional and competitive attitude. Even in a tough season it has been a great pleasure to work with and lead this team. Now we return to Hockenheim from where we have fond memories of Timo’s and BMW Team MTEK’s first race win last year. We will try our best to achieve a great result with both of our drivers, as always.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “What has been a dream season for us is drawing to a close. My team has been incredible this year. We come full circle in Hockenheim. This is where Marco Wittmann’s victory in the opening race laid the foundation for our great season. We now return as champions. It will be an emotional race for us. And one title is still up for grabs for BMW. Winning the manufacturers’ crown with BMW is our goal which we will tackle with maximum focus.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM): “I am already looking forward to the weekend. Hockenheim is always very special. The race, feeling and atmosphere are always great there. It will be my third season finale there, and I really like the circuit. I have been very strong there in the past, so I hope we can end the season on a high – then I could go into the winter break with a good feeling.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM): “The circuit in Hockenheim suits my driving style, with its fast sections, tight corners and heavy braking points. I will once again do my utmost to be successful with BMW. The finale in Hockenheim is always a major spectacle. Big crowds, and a firework finale: it is a great show and right up my street. We always all try to pull one last big performance out of the bag for the final race of the season. We obviously still have something to play for, as we can defend the Manufacturers’ title for BMW. I will do my very best to that end.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer): “A tough year is drawing to a close for BMW Team Schnitzer and me. All the same, I did finish on the podium twice. Despite this, we definitely set our sights higher coming into this season. We will push hard again at the finale in Hockenheim. I am looking forward to the awesome atmosphere at the circuit, and hope to end the season on a positive note.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Hockenheim is always a sensational way to end the season. Holding the final race there has proven to be a winning formula for years in the DTM. This way, the fans and drivers alike can enjoy a genuine highlight at the end of the season. The circuit is absolutely awesome. It suits the BMW M4 DTM, as shown by the opening race of 2014 at the same venue. I am obviously pleased to have finally made it back onto the podium at the last race in Zandvoort after a long barren run. For this reason, I travel to Hockenheim with a good feeling. One title is still up for grabs. We want to get our hands on that too now.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK): “I am looking forward to Hockenheim, a circuit we know really well. Last year I won the season finale there. It would be nice if I could do that again this time. Generally speaking, I would have liked me and my team to have scored more points this season. Unfortunately we had a few races in which everything seemed to go against us. However, there is no point moping about it. We have to look ahead and do our very best in Hockenheim to ensure that BMW wins the Manufacturers’ title for the third time in a row.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK): “On the one hand I am really looking forward to the finale in Hockenheim. On the other hand, however, it also means that another season is over. My first DTM year has been one of highs and lows. My goal was to learn as much as possible. I think I have gained valuable experience. We had a good start to the season in Hockenheim, and must now attempt to repeat that and have a strong final race. That way we can head into the winter on a high.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG): “The season finale in Hockenheim is obviously always very special. The atmosphere there is always enough to give you goosebumps. I can really enjoy it, as the pressure in the Drivers’ Championship is off. I claimed my first DTM win at this year’s opening race in Hockenheim, and it would obviously be a dream to finish on the top step of the podium at the finale. We have set our sights on scoring valuable points towards the Manufacturers’ Championship. It is still a very close affair, and is guaranteed to be exciting. I am really looking forward to the finale.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG): “I can be more than satisfied with my first season in the DTM. Only a few drivers have ever managed to win a race and secure pole position in their first year. I am proud to end the season as the best-placed rookie. I will take the many positive experiences that I gained in 2014, and the negative ones, into the new season. My goal for next year is to be more consistent. That is key in the DTM. However, the season is not over yet. We still have the final race in Hockenheim. I want to score a good result to help ensure that BMW has cause for celebration after the finale.”